How Geri became a sailor
Sailing becomes a natural feature of life when you grow up on the shore of a lake. Water, be it rivers or lakes were part of Geris childhood tempting him again and again to venture out on the waters of the Traunsee.
His parents had no liking to Geris ambition to master the local waters, therefore imposing strict - forbidding - rules to approach the dark waters. "I had to sneak out of our house pretending to visit friends whenever passion and desire to sail the lakes overcame my natural obedience towards parents.“ It took years until Geri admitted his secret outings to his family. It was too late to steer him away - Geri was touched for life by wind and water.
Aged 25, Geri starts sailing the mediterranean waters of north Africa. His 505 - similar to a Flying Dutchman - becomes his training ground for more ambitious ventures on his friends larger yachts. Robert Wessely and Gert Gunzy became his mentors teaching him the intricacies of blue water sailing. It took many years until he started feeling the touching message of the wind and to develop a feeling for the planks.
It took 20 years and many little steps to master the art of navigation, trimming and driving boats. Geris dream to sail HIS yacht becomes stronger and stronger while mastering the seamanship progresses. He always wanted a classic yacht, if not for the simple reason that new yachts become old after only few years - and that would be expensive.
The search for an adequate wooden partner takes 12 years. Sailing with his friend Helmut Peter from Greenland to Maine, touching Labrador and Nova Scotia, Geri meets a wooden boat enthusiast in Camden Maine. Bill shows him this fantastic schooner, beautiful and proud on anchor in Boothbay Harbour. There was no way to even think about buying such a beauty. Geri meets the owners, a wealthy american couple and strikes a lasting friendship. He is introduced to Dennis Conner, the Americas Cup legend, who starts mentoring Geri and coaches him about the intricacies of blue water racing until he told to take over the helm.
It was the 26th of December 2004, when a terrible Tsunami reaved havoc in the far east. Geri escapes the inferno only slightly injured bare his belongings. It is only upon returning to Europe that Geri is informed that his american friends had entrusted him with the lifelong "duty" of caretaker-ship for Gallant. His first action would be to give Gallant back her original name Mary Rose.